Searching for a smudge-proof solution to streaky gel liner? Brace yourself for a tremendous tip that’s guaranteed to blow your brains clean out of your skull.

Drumroll, please: Just don’t use eyeliner. Make for mascara to line your lids instead.

Wait, what? But, but how? You sputter. Easy-peasy. Grab an angled eyeliner brush and dip it in mascara, then brandish the brush as you would any conventional eyeliner, gel, pencil or otherwise.

This cool scoop comes courtesy of my Mum, who says that she stumbled upon this secret when she was out and about and discovered with dismay that she had extinguished her eyeliner supply. Some emergency experimentation with her trusty tube of mascara and the rest, as one is wont to say, is history.

Why this hack works as well as it does

Okay, there’s the obvious and perfectly valid rebuttal – waterproof gel liners are a dime a dozen on the beauty market – but hey, most of these gel liners come in tedious twist-cap tubs that are cumbersome to carry around, and ain’t nobody has time for that.

Then there’s how most mascaras have a weightier proportion of waxes and oils in their formulas, making them highly “hydrophobic” (chem-speak for water-repellant) and therefore better suited for our budge-proof purposes. Translation: Moisture-resistant mascaras make for an excellent eyeliner alternative.

Are we seeing eye to eye yet? Good. So do as my Mum does and make your mascara work doubly hard for its money. Simply slip in a slim liner brush into your makeup pouch, then try not to smirk as the jaws of your girlfriends drop as you casually dip it into your mascara tube when touching up in the powder-room.

Do me a favour by sharing this story with your fellow beauty buddies, and cheers to getting your everlasting eyeliner on fleek!